Creating a Green Community

Greenhouse - Green Home - Creating a Green Community

Creating a Green CommunityCommunities across the country are making plans to create a more sustainable living. It is important that all future developments bear in mind the environmental consequences of their construction, and that existing communities work to assess their footprint and make best efforts to minimize it. The EPA outlines 5 steps to create a greener community, as summarized below:

1. Assess the community - A full understanding of the social, economic and environmental status of your community must be the first step in developing a plan to go green. This includes analyzing the population, geography, natural resources and political climate. Additionally, taking an inventory of influencers and potential contributors in your community can further lay out a roadmap for success in this cause. From your assessment you should have an idea about the values of your community, its current environmental climate and needs, the natural resources available, and the advocates to drive your plan. You should have a point of reference as to how your community stacks up to others.

2. Identify the community's current direction - Determining the direction the community is heading is as important as where it is currently. Consider all of the current influencers to the environment as mentioned above, and try to map out where the community will be after a period of time if conditions as they exist do not change. This part of the process may contain a more statistical or research oriented component, consisting of charting or graphing trends and citing resources. It should be compelling and factual.

3. Determine what the community of the future looks like - All things should start with clearly defined goals, in this case concerning the individual factors influencing the ecosystem. Create a vision for the future that unfolds along this timeframe with an ultimate goal in mind, and as a part of that vision include a wide spread level of community participation as it will be a necessity to reach the outlined goals. Determine and outline the time frames used to measure the success of the community's transition based on your prior assessment of where you are and where you are headed currently. Communities in greater need of environmental conservation should obviously enact a more aggressive plan with shorter time frames between progress points.

4. Lay out the plan - Once you have determined the goals and the measurement points in time, you must create an action plan. The plan should include intermediate goals and objectives, work assignments, a reporting structure, available resources and potential pitfalls.

5. Enact the plan - Very simple�get out and do it! Follow your plan and adapt accordingly, always with long and short term goals in mind, and leverage the biggest resource you have�your community.

Joining the environmental cause and pushing for change in your community is a very important global issue today. Everyone, minus a notable few, stands to gain from a cleaner environment, sustainable energy, and lower living costs. Start by living a more green life in your own home and apply the principles to projects you do going forward, and getting involved as suggested by the outline above will benefit us all.